News That Matters

Rocket Lab to launch rocket from New Zealand

Dec. 7 (UPI) — Aerospace startup company Rocket Lab have delayed plans to launch its Electron rocket until Friday.

The four-hour launch window was originally supposed to open at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday — Friday in New Zealand, where the rocket will launch from. The new window will open at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday — 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday in New Zealand.

Officials said the launch was delayed because they needed more time.

The launch will be streamed live on Rocket Lab’s website.

Rocket Lab is based in the United States but operates a New Zealand subsidiary. Its Launch Complex 1 is located on the Māhia Peninsula.

If the launch and flight go as planned, the rocket will release a trio of satellites. Rocket Lab’s first clients include the companies Planet and Spire.

The companies may have some waiting to do, however, as the Rocket Lab plans to proceed cautiously.

“We’re expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for perfect conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should,” Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, said in a statement.

Rocket Lab aims to provide launch services to smaller satellites, or what are often called CubeSats. The company believes its smaller rockets will offer the launch schedule flexibility that makers of the toaster-sized satellites want.

Electron’s payload includes Planet’s Earth-imaging Dove satellite and two Lemur-2 satellites made by Spire. The two Lemur-2 satellites can map weather and track ships.

Though the rocket will — fingers crossed — release commercial satellites, the company still considers the launch a test. In fact, they’ve dubbed the launch “Still Testing.”

Electron is a tow-stage rocket. It’s 55 feet tall and can manage payloads of up to 550 pounds.

During the inaugural test flight of Electron, the rocket made it to the edge of space but failed to enter orbit.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Science News – UPI.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *